BAM's multi-million ringgit sponsorship with Petronas is a big deal

1. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) netted a multi-million ringgit sponsorship with Petronas and its subsidiary Petronas Dagangan Bhd yesterday.

2. The sponsorship - over the next three years - also sees the Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) changing its name to Petronas ABM and the national oil company being the title sponsor of the Malaysia Open.

3. The amount of the sponsorship was not revealed, but judging by the commitment, it's safe to say Petronas will be pumping some RM15 million to RM20 million a year (so about RM45 million to RM60 million over the next three years).

4. This is presumably more than Celcom's sponsorship with the national body which was RM24 million over three years (RM8 million a year) and that of Maybank's RM41 million deal.

5. The agreement inked yesterday is indeed a big deal - for BAM and other sports bodies in the country.

6. The sponsorship comes amidst the BAM-Lee Zii Jia-Goh Jin Wei saga that saw massive public outcry in January.

7. Despite not having the nation's best singles player in its stable, a major company like Petronas still sees the value of investing in the national body.

8. The sponsorship will enable BAM to be more independent and not hunger for financial aid from the government via the National Sports Council. This will also relieve the government the burden of forking out tax payers' money to sports.

9. Petronas, having being a sponsor for the Malaysian Basketball Association during its Rakan Sukan days and later investing heavily in motorsports, surely sees the potential of badminton which has somewhat garnered more interest and better results compared to, let's say, football. Petronas should also be commended for its continued interest and investment in sports.

10. BAM's engagement on social media too seems to work to its benefit, as evident in how it tackled the January "crisis" and how it reached out to fans during the Badminton Asian Team Championship last month.

11. Petronas' sponsorship is a boost to badminton, and Malaysian sports generally, as the sports scene reignites after being crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

12. As such, this multi-ringgit sponsorship, in such challenging times, is indeed a big deal. BAM and Petronas should in fact reveal the actual figure of the sponsorship, to send a clear message that despite the pandemic, and not having the best player, a national body can still obtain funds to further promote and develop the game.

13. If BAM can do it, what's stopping the other national sports associations from getting investors onboard?

Thank you, Petronas. Kudos, BAM!


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